fake twitter accounts channel the inner lives of boldfaced names from chuck norris to rahm emanuel, often to hilarious effect. and that's tonight's "sign of the times." >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," february 22nd, 2011. good evening, i'm terry moran. and we're going to begin tonight with a startling look at crimes, specifically sex crime, aboard cruise ship. no vacation is billed as carefree as a cruise. but unreported crime on board has become such a problem that congress recently passed a law requiring cruise lines to report all crime at sea to the fbi. tonight, a brave teenager, for the first time, items her story about how a trip turned into a nightmare at the hands of a cruise employee. here's vicki mabrey.
>> reporter: the ads highlight all the fun to be had on a cruise ship. the games, the buffet, the pool. the relaxation. >> where you're free to do anything you want. >> reporter: that's why in the spring of 2009, darla and ina took their 14-year-old daughter taylor on an eight-day caribbean cruise on the carnival ship "freedom." >> most of the stuff is taken care of for you. you don't have to worry about meals, the entertainment, because there's entertainment on the ship every night. >> reporter: at any point in planning this did safety cross your mind? >> we thought there was security all over the ship. >> when you're on the ship, you don't think about that. you think you're safe. >> reporter: but five days into the cruise, 14-year-old taylor would find out she wasn't. >> my parents went to bed and i couldn't sleep so i left the room and went up to the open
deck. i used to go up there and write in my journal at night. and i did that that night. >> reporter: that night was the night taylor was raped. by this man, a carnival cruise line employee from indonesia, who waited on the family during meals. >> he pulled me into a employee only room. i asked him what he was doing and he told me that he was going to take care of me. >> reporter: and then what happened? >> well, he raped me and i kept saying no, but he didn't care. >> reporter: and after this was over, what did he say? >> he told me not to tell my parent parents. but then he just unlocked the door and let me go. >> reporter: taylor returned to her parents cabin, shaken, angry and afraid. and she didn't tell them what had happened. why not?
>> it's hard to say it. and my dad's birthday was the next day and it's just really -- it's that hard to say. >> reporter: for darla and ina, who knew nothing of what had just happened, the vacation continued. but for taylor, the cruise became a floating inescapable nightmare. >> at that point, i just really wanted to die. >> cruise ships are soft targets, primarily because they have little security on board. >> reporter: mark would know. he's the former head of security for princess cruise lines and author of the book "cruising for trouble." >> when passengers step foot on a gang way, they have a false sense of security. sexual assault crimes are probably the number one most reported crime on cruise ships.
and the great majority of these crimes are committed by crew members. >> reporter: hard numbers about how much crime is committed at sea are difficult to come by, because up to now, no single agency tracks the crime, and the skr cruise industry hasn't been required to report it. >> i was sexually assaulted. >> reporter: but safety is enough of a problem that congress held hearings on cruise ship crime in 2006 and 2007. >> a royal caribbean security guard raped me. >> reporter: after returning home to oklahoma, taylor would keep her terrible secret from her parents for the next three months until those feelings of anger and helplessness caused her to hit bottom. >> i had some thoughts about suicide. so, i decided to tell my mom because i needed help. >> she said, do you remember harry on the cruise? and i said, yes, i remember.
and she said, he raped me. >> and when that happened, i felt like there was nothing i could ever do anymore. >> reporter: what he did was call the fbi. by then, harry was back home in indonesia. it was nearly nine more months before the fbi located him, back in a u.s. port, working on another carnival cruise ship. >> first, the perpetrator, when the fbi interviewed him, said it never happened. >> reporter: this attorney's miami law firm sued carnival for taylor and her family. >> and the fbi gave him a lie detector test and the waiter flunked that test. and then the waiter said, yeah, i did have sex with taylor, but it was con sense yule. you can't do that with a 14-year-old. >> reporter: he pled guilty to
sex with a minor. he's serving three years in prison. but for taylor, that's not enough. >> no, because that's not what he did. he raped me. they arrested him and put him in jail but he got 37 months. and i have to deal with this for the rest of my life. >> reporter: charles says he hears from new victims every day. but the greatest increase coming in passenger on passenger crime. but he says any prosecution in cases like these is rare. >> that's the first conviction that i've seen in handling these type of cases for 35 years. so, you know, one conviction in 35 years? what kind of a deterrent is that? >> reporter: carnival refused to speak with us on camera, but sent a statement, apologizing again to taylor and her parents and also saying they go to tremendous lengths to ensuhuure
enjoyable vacation. taylor and her family settled out of court but refused to sign a gag order so taylor could speak out. >> parents don't go on a cruise ship and think, you know, my child could get raped when i go on this cruise. nobody thinks about that. >> reporter: because as they set sail, that's probably the furthest thing from anyone's mind. this is vicki mabrey for "nightline" in oklahoma. >> a brave girl. thanks to vicki mabrey for that report. when we come back, we'll switch gears. the erratic and brutal behavior of moammar gadhafi has long been a source of shock and concern around the world. but just how unhinged is he? as a kid, i couldn't wait to skate on that ice. what was i thinking? but i was still skating on thin ice with my cholesterol.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> he depends on a voluptuous ukrainian nurse who is his constant companion. he's afraid of flying over water and refuses to climb more than 35 steps at a time. those are just a few of moammar gadhafi's quirks, as described in u.s. cable cables. but his behavior goes beyond mere quirks. now, he's slaughtering his own people. so, just how mad is he? here's jeffrey kofman. >> reporter: even by gadhafi standards, it was a speech that went beyond the bizarre. speak i speaking on state tv, the man who has ruled libya for almost 42 years railed against the libyan protesters who he says
are taking hallucination pills provided to them by foreigners. "withdraw your children from the streets" he warned, adding, "to those who love gadhafi, go out of your homes and go after the rats." there he was, like a figure from madame tube soeds, suede. and oddly solitary figure in the ruins of a building bombed by the u.s. back in the 1980s. in so many ways, it was vintage gadhafi. funny, but not so funny. "i will fight until the last drop of my blood," he vowed. seemingly 0 believe use to the bloodshed by others in the past week. yes, he has amused the world with his clothing choices, his habit of traveling with his own tent. in 2009, on a visit to the u.s., he tried to pitch it in new jersey until officials blocked him. and then, there is the legendary
pistol-packing posse of 40 female body guards who, for so many years, shadowed his every move. it's the stuff with standup comedy. >> i had to write one at the last minute on loose leaf paper. and that made me look crazy. >> reporter: as we've seen over the last week and heard today, strip all the theatrics away, and he is nothing more than just another ruthless dictator. he came to power in 1969 at the age of 27 in a bloodless coup. his country's small population and huge oil reserves are key to understanding how he has survived so long. but it would take psycho analysis to understand his actions over the years. the list he is connected to is brutal and bloody.
1972, the munich olympic massacre. that same year, supplying weapons to the ira. 1986, the bombing of a berlin nightclub popular with american soldiers. 1988, the bombing of pan am flight 103. 270 kills. 1996, the massacre of 1,200 prisoners in eastern libya during an anti-government uprising. yet, that style has managed to distract the world. it's as if the role of bah foon was an artful cover. take his 2009 appearance before the u.n., when it looked league his igs lake from the world stage was finally over. he was given 15 minutes to speak. he took more than 0. and in the process, he tore up a copy of the u.n. charter. many were appalled but just as many were amused. he is fay lousily awkward in interviews. never looks anyone in the eyes and prone to long periods of
silence. the u.s. assessment of the colonel was laid bear by wikileaks recently when it published diplomatic cables. he was called eccentric. and the cables note that he presides over a famously track shus family that is dysfunctional and powerful and marked by internal struggles. that family comprises seven sons and one daughter. their high-living antics, fast cars, pet tigers, are fueled by a reported billions of oil wealth stashed around the world. he seemed in his older years intent on creating a dynasty. tonight, with his regime unraveling, that dynasty seems unlikely. the questions, instead, how long will the her kur y'all madman last? and how many of his people will die before he goes? i'm jeffrey kofman for "nightline" on the libyan border in tunisia. >> and this evening there were more defections from the regime,
including the interior minister and the crews and commanders of two warships. thanks to jeffrey kofman for that report. up next, imposter twitter accounts. how messages tweeted in jest under assumed personas are opening up a whole null arena for laughter. i'm friend, secret-keeper and playmate. do you think i'd let osteoporosis slow me down? so i asked my doctor about reclast because i heard it's the only once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment. he told me all about it and i said that's the one for nana. he said reclast can help restrengthen my bones to help make them resistant to fracture for twelve months. and reclast is approved to help protect from fracture in many places: hip, spine, even other bones. [ male announcer ] you should not take reclast if you're on zometa, have low blood calcium, kidney problems. or you're pregnant, plan to become pregnant or nursing. take calcium and vitamin d daily.
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emanuel tweeted, looking forward to working together as your next mayor. meanwhile, messages went out from two other accounts bearing emanuel's name, fake accounts. they celebrated the victory, as well, but with torrents of expletives that would make a sailor blush. and for john berman, fake twitter accounts are tonight's "sign of the times." >> loud and clear. >> reporter: the real chuck norris speaks with true delta force. >> sleep tight, sucker. >> reporter: the fake one, with twitter force. there are only two things that can cut diamonds. other diamonds and chuck norris. the real rahm emanuel? or should we say, mayor-elect emanuel hides his famous potty mouth. >> anything in the news you guys want to talk about? >> reporter: but the fake one? happy new year, bleepers. and the other one? mother bleeping coffee, you're all i bleeping need today. there's a fake nick nolte, even
a fake darth vader who says, oprah's spoiler tomorrow? i am your father. welcome to twitter where the fake world is especially entertaining. all kinds of fake twitter accounts have popped up. parodies of famous and the not so famous. take jim van the executive editor of politico. the real jim has a twitter account. but the fake one, twice as many followers. are you jealous of the fake jim? >> the person is sometimes pretty clever, which i him credit for, but i have a hard enough time living with the real jim for now. >> reporter: the fake one says, tomorrow on politico, slide show. congressional cleavage. the real one? he can take it. >> if you're in washington in politics and journalism, you take yourself too seriously, you're screwed. >> reporter: fake rahm emanuel spoke to us, only if we held his
face. i wanted to know what it was like. i started my own fake account. instead of john s per man, there is fake john s berman. who says thing s like this. there's something pathetic about it. but someone actually started a real fake john berman account, which promises to cover the fake sarah palin, the yankees and mundane animals. now i understand where jim is coming from. if you could say one thing to the fake jim, what would i it be? >> i'm john berman, the real one, not the fake one, or even the real fake one, for "nightline" in new york. >> thanks to john for that. finally, the topic of tonight's online closing argument. four american hostages are killed by pirates off the coast of somalia after a weekend long chase. we've heard from many of you on
the subject. we invite the rest of you to join the debate on the "nightline" facebook page and abcnews.com. that's our report for tonight. i'm terry moran. for cynthia mcfadden, bill weir and all of us at abc news, good night, america. >> dicky: up next on an all new "jimmy kimmel live" -- cameron diaz. >> i love porn. >> jimmy: wow! heidi is goal to help us predict the oscar winners. >> dicky: henry winkler. >> the queen wrote me. >> jimmy: you sure? >> today is national kiss a mexican day. >> dicky: and music from cake. >> jimmy: well, isn't that theig